RWE & VALOREM to bid for French offshore wind tender

By: Chloe Emanuel

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31/08/2023 RWE

RWE and VALOREM announced that they have signed a partnership agreement to jointly bid for the bottom-fixed offshore wind farm project off the island of Oléron (AO7). Under the terms of the tender, an offshore wind farm with an installed capacity of around 1,000 megawatts (MW) will be deployed some 40 kilometres off the coast of Oléron Island, with commissioning scheduled for 2032-2033.

The project will cover a maximum surface area of 180 km², with an average depth of around 60 metres. The selected area is also outside the Marine Natural Park, as recommended by RWE and VALOREM during the public debate. The tender was launched in October 2022 and the provisional timetable foresees that the winner will be chosen by the CRE (Commission de régulation de l’énergie, the French energy regulator) in 2024.  

Priority given to dialogue and consultation 

RWE and VALOREM will jointly participate in the competitive dialogue, the next stage of the bidding process after pre-qualification. RWE will contribute its unique experience of more than 20 years in the design, development, financing, construction, and operation of offshore wind farms. VALOREM will offer its historical experience in renewable energy projects in France, and its strong local roots combined with in-depth knowledge of the region.

Through their expertise, the two companies will promote a strong economic and industrial dynamic in terms of employment and innovation, particularly in the Charente region. RWE and VALOREM will ensure that the project is properly integrated into the environment, and that the industrial and technological know-how of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region is strengthened. These issues are at the heart of the strategy that RWE and VALOREM will adopt in their bid to make this offshore wind farm a model project.

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind: “RWE’s ambitions for the development of renewable energies are in line with those of France. We aim to accelerate their development in order to promote the reindustrialisation of the regions and to guarantee the country’s security of supply. As one of the most experienced operators of offshore wind farms, we’re proud to join forces with VALOREM, a key player in the area where the future offshore wind farm will be located. It also reflects our history of working with VALOREM on onshore wind power in the 2000s. Together, we’ll submit an offer developed in close consultation with the region, to propose a competitive project that respects the environment and users of the sea, while offering many economic and industrial benefits.” 

Jean-Yves Grandider, President of VALOREM Group: “VALOREM is a pioneer of green energy in France, with almost 30 years of experience in developing local energy resources. As a mission-driven company, VALOREM takes great pleasure in developing innovation around its projects – whether it be solutions for citizen financing, professional integration, or environmental protection. We’re particularly proud of this partnership, and of the fact that it’s with such an ambitious and renowned player as RWE, confirming our position as a co-investor in the development of offshore wind projects. Together, we will strive to develop a genuine project for the region, and submit a strong, competitive and attractive offer.”

RWE is the world’s second-largest producer of offshore wind power. Present across the entire value chain, the company participates in dozens of tenders in its main markets. The Group’s unique expertise has been built up over more than 20 years, with the commissioning of 19 offshore wind farms, including some of the most innovative in the world.  

The 1.4 GW Sofia project in the UK is one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms currently under construction. It will deploy recyclable blades on a large scale, with 44 of the one hundred or so turbines to be equipped. The 1 GW Thor project, currently under construction for commissioning in late 2027, will feature the innovative GreenerTower, which reduces CO2 emissions during turbine construction by at least 63%. RWE is the first developer to use this technology.  

France is one of RWE’s key strategic markets, and the Group is rapidly expanding its renewable energies portfolio. The Group is positioned in all of France’s offshore wind energy tenders, whether with the AO8 off the Normandy coast and the AO7 off the Charente coast, or with floating wind turbine technologies south of the Bretagne coast (A05) and off the Mediterranean coast (AO6). 

The VALOREM Group is an independent French operator in the field of green energy. As a pioneer in wind power in France for 30 years and with over 450 employees, the VALOREM Group has expertise througout the entire process of developing renewable energies, from development to operation and maintenance (via its subsidiary VALEMO), as well as project management, construction (via its subsidiary VALREA) and auditing services. The Group has financed over 837 MW and has a portfolio of 5.7 GW of projects under development, in France and abroad (notably in Finland, Greece and Poland).  

Since 2014, the VALOREM Group has been positioned in offshore wind power, through its design offices and its O&M subsidiary VALEMO. The Group has built up solid references in various fields and technologies (onshore wind power, offshore wind power, measurement masts, substations, floating lidar, tidal turbines). Backed by these references, and its experience in project development, VALOREM has positioned itself since October 2022 as a co-investor in offshore wind projects, taking minority stakes in consortia bidding for offshore floating or onshore wind energy tenders in France and Europe.  

In 2023, VALOREM will also become a founding member of the Open-C Foundation, which will bring together and manage all French test sites dedicated to marine renewable energies and offshore wind power, currently managed by different operators.

For more information about offshore wind farm projects across the globe, click here.

About the Author

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
Chloe Emanuel

Press Coordinator

01502 307037